School-goers React: Is Distance Learning Actually a Help?

Kyllian Thorne, reporter

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc throughout the world, students and teachers alike find

themselves thrust into a new and unfamiliar situation. Distance learning is forcing students to

completely readjust their approach to school.

There have been multiple problems with distance learning already, such as new

challenges on social media sites such as Facebook or TikTok. These challenges encourage

students to leak Google Meet codes to the Internet so unwanted visitors can join at any time.

Unfortunately, this has led to many problems, with instances of complete strangers joining the

Meet to fill the text chat and voice chat alike with endless profanity, and even exposing

themselves on camera.

Beyond this, however, is the simple case of students not being engaged enough with

class or not keeping up. In some cases, this affects the student’s physical and mental health.

Senior Gabriel Kouder said, “It stresses me out. My teachers give me

nonstop work and I have to sacrifice sleep.” He suggests that the workload is simply too much

for the average student. Ideally, he says, teachers should “assign less work, and start caring

(more) for the mental health of the students.”

Even students out of state suffer from similar issues: Kasey Cook, a sophomore at

Grayson County High School in Kentucky, offers some insight: “It seems as though the only

people... staying completely caught up are those with higher grades and/or in advanced

classes, whereas others… are struggling to focus, or just not doing it at all,” he says.

Even some teachers have been condemning the system: West Tech’s own Aaron

Dunning, government teacher said, “[Distance learning] causes us to really struggle with how

to mold our lessons to these environments. It’s almost like being a first-year teacher again.” Mr.

Dunning proceeds to say that adapting to distance learning will simply take too long for teachers

in terms of using the system effectively. “Some teachers could do it quickly,” he says, “but a lot

of teachers aren’t good at technology.”

However, distance learning has shown in many cases that students can actually benefit

from the system. Whatever the stats show, it certainly seems like distance learning will stick

around, at least for the 2020-2021 school year. Students and teachers can only hope that

eventually, they will learn how to manage and control this unusual system.

Due to COVID-19, students find themselves set up in Google Meet classrooms that are strange and uncomfortable for many.

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